Local universities launch cash pot for growth-hungry businesses

Posted on 6 January 2017 (Permalink)

SMEs in need of a cash injection to drive innovation and growth could be eligible for up to £2,500 in this year’s Innovation Vouchers scheme.

For every £1 a company can put up towards innovation and growth will be matched with a £1 contribution from the project. The typical Innovation Voucher is £2,500 which means eligible businesses can unlock a total business innovation fund of £5,000 to access external expertise with knowledge base organisations (research institutes).

The EU-funded initiative, delivered by Aston University, Birmingham City University and the University of Wolverhampton, was set up to help smaller businesses pay for new processes and systems that will improve efficiency and help bring new products to market.

Selected SMEs will also be able to access business innovation workshops ran by leading academics from all three universities to encourage competitiveness in the relevant marketplace and to give advice on how to manage business innovation and growth more effectively – all free of charge.

The money can be spent on:

  • Developing a new product or process
  • Developing a new business model
  • An efficiency audit or process change
  • Managing supply chains and logistics
  • A new service delivery initiative or customer interface
  • A new service development
  • Testing a product or service
  • An economic impact assessment
  • An innovation or technology audit.

The scheme will be open to SMEs until April 2019. For more information, visit Aston University's website

A series of Business Innovation workshops has been established to let businesses know more about the vouchers, as well as other opportunities to achieve business growth.